Sunday, April 3, 2011
I spent the day in Blue Ridge Georgia at the Arts Center where Carol Crawford pulled off yet another flawless writers’ conference. This event was number fourteen sponsored by the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association and this time it was held at the magnificent old building now used as an Arts Center. My eyes feasted on the paintings and photography on the walls as well as carvings and sculpture displayed. I arrived late and missed Sally McMillan’s opening remarks, but I did not miss Hope Clark’s session. I subscribe to Hope’s free newsletter at http://www.fundsforwriters.com/ Her handout was jam-packed with Internet sites to contact for funding for writers. She had not planned to make her living this way. Her talk about her own life and how she came to be in the business of helping writers find grants, proves you just never know how your plans can change and often for the best. Hope is from South Carolina. Her warm smile and easy manner with an audience comes through on her blog. She enjoys helping her readers. She is the kind of person you know you will like the minute you see her. It was so good to see my good friend, Scott Owens, editor of Wild Goose Poetry Review, and hear the compliments heaped upon him. He was a big hit, and I am happy to say he will be back here in the fall at Writers Circle to teach a workshop. Check this site for the date: http://www.glendacouncilbeall.blogspot.com/ All the presenters talked about online publishing and social media’s importance to a writer. Attendees came away realizing their need to catch up with technology. I recognized that deficiency some time ago. That is why we asked Ronda Birtha to teach us how to best use social media to promote our writing and she will do that at Writers Circle on May . It is not too soon to sign up now. Space is limited. Echoes across the Blue Ridge, the Netwest anthology published last year, sold well as did all the books on the table manned by Melinda of Cowan’s Book Nook in Blue Ridge. http://www.hellonorthgeorgia.com/Shopping/CowansBookNook.html I picked up a couple of books I’ll write about later. Except for the air pollution caused by all the people who wore perfume, it was a perfect day. Tonight I’m nursing a sore throat and headache, and praying I won’t end up with bronchitis or asthma from networking with all the delightful writers there. It would not be difficult to print on the Blue Ridge Writers’ Conference application a little line that says, “Please do not wear perfume or fragrance of any kind. Some of our guests are extremely sensitive to the chemicals.” If you did not go to the conference, I urge you to put it on your calendar for next year.